Galanthus, Crocosmia, Amaryllis & South Africa.

David Fenwick
Mon, 09 Feb 2004 13:30:46 PST
Hi John,
Thank you for your kind comments, it was a privilege to meet you and your

I'll write something for the group in due course but I've still a fair way
to go regarding the research into the distribution of Amaryllis belladonna.
I've a fair idea, but now I've got the fair idea I have to get confirmation,
proof and of course bulbs for the purposes of comparison. Then I have to put
everything together.

After I saw you I started an article for a national Portuguese Newspaper and
I've just had confirmation of its publication this evening, so this may
bring even more useful information; as will a reply when I get it from The
National Maritme Museum of South Africa. So watch this space.

Just to let eveyone know what I am working on I'm researching how Amaryllis
belladonna came to Europe, and a few people on the list are already aware of
this. For others though I'm researching the potential that the bulb was
imported into Europe by the Portuguese and roughly between 1500 and 1510. I
am also researching the potential that the bulb was imported into Brazil,
probably from Madeira, between the latter date and 1560. The bulb was
introduced into Brazil as part of the trade triangle between Africa,
Portugal and the New World and is connected to the slave trade and the
global spread of the cultivation of sugar cane.

Les Hannibal's daughter Dorothy has just informed me in a completely
unrelated mail that it was Portuguese emigrants that imported the bulb into
the San Fransisco Bay Area at the turn of the century, early 1900s. So
obviously we have to thank the Portuguese for all sorts of things.

Best Wishes,
Dave (Plymouth, UK)

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